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Our first finalist is Holly Close, who’ll be blogging about doing odd jobs for cash and working on a long-term plan, while living at home surrounded by GCSE Geography students – sounds like the dream, right?
I Love My Family, But I Need To Leave Home
At my graduation last year, the Class of 2012 could broadly be divided into two groups: those who were moving home, and everyone else. In between posing for photos in our gowns and swishing around like excited Gryffindor students, much of the chat centred on the perils of moving back home, and the awkward game of real-life Tetris we’d all had to play, cramming three years worth of uni stuff into our childhood bedrooms.
In the post-Olympics news vacuum, a similar trend started to emerge in the newspapers. Alongside classic articles like “Pretty girls (and token boy) jump for joy over A-level results” and “List of things to take with you to uni which you’ll never actually use”, dozens of pieces about flying back to the family nest were sprung upon recent graduates, already fragile at the thought of just how much debt they now had to deal with. “No, really, it’s not that bad,” sighed the writers. “I keep arguing with my parents/I have no sex life/I’m slowly going insane, but at least I’m saving money”.
I spent this summer reviewing at the Edinburgh Festival and, in between shows, read a lot of these pieces. Despite the fact I get on really well with my family, I feared the worst. But it’s all been fine: there’s barely been an argument; I’ve discovered how funny my younger siblings have become; and I’m living the worryingly wholesome life of an Enid Blyton heroine – picking blackberries, baking cakes and working part-time in my local library. Plus, a lot of my friends from school are still around. If they hadn’t been, this might well be a very different blog post.
If anything, it’s been too good. Part of me doesn’t want to leave. This would be fine if we lived in London, or Manchester, or any other major city in the UK. But we don’t. I live in Hornsea, on the East Yorkshire coast. It’s the biggest town in Britain without an A-road, has one set of traffic lights, and the only people who’ve heard of it are GCSE Geography students who come here on field trips to study its high levels of coastal erosion. Thrilling, right? It’s a town built on playgrounds and church coffee mornings, and it’s a great place to live if you’re under twelve or over sixty. Not so much if you’re a twenty-two year old English graduate who wants to work in Arts and Media.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly grateful that I have parents who don’t mind me cluttering up the place, but it’s all slightly too easy, too comfortable. If I’m not careful, it’ll suddenly be twenty years from now, and I’ll be a well-educated spinster, still living in the family home and complaining about Hornsea’s lack of a cinema. As an ambitious young woman with a good degree, I need to make 2013 the year I leave home, for good this time. Just give me a few weeks to find somewhere to go...
All five finalists from our blogger competition will be featured on GoThinkBig over the course of today. Once all the finalists are up, we'll open up the poll on Facebook - then it's over to you to decide the winner.